If you’re a Rutgers fan, a college football fan, or just a sports fan in general you probably know the story of Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand. The story of LeGrand is one of the saddest stories of the year, but it has already gotten better than originally thought. LeGrand was paralyzed from the shoulders down last year after making a tackle against Army in one of the more horrific sights in college football. Shortly after he was hurt, the prognosis was not good. Doctors said he would never come off a ventilator and never walk again. Well as he continues his recovery, LeGrand is off the ventilator, he is eating solid foods, and he continues to try and be an inspiration to everyone in the world as he tries to reach his goal of one day walking again. The story of LeGrand is tragic and it’s more difficult than I can even comprehend, but he has already made more steps than some doctors ever thought and here’s hoping he continues to prove people wrong and will ultimately reach his goal.
Eric LeGrand joined ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt to talk about what the first thing is that he does when he wakes up in the morning, what it means to make the positive steps he has already taken, what the original prognosis was, whether or not he thinks about the play that ended up paralyzing him, what his goal is, and what happens to him if he is never able to walk again.
What he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning:
“First thing I think is just try to move something. Try to move something. Try to roll over or something. If I can’t then it’s just ‘okay back to the grind.”
What it means to have taken positive steps towards his recovery already:
“Means the world and it means that I’m progressing more than any doctor ever said I would progress. That means I can just continue to fight and keep on fighting every day.”
On the original prognosis:
“That’s what it was at first. Right now they don’t even say anything. I believe that they believe I’m gonna do this whole thing. (Host: Prove ‘em wrong right?) They thought that I would never be able to get any neurological movement back but everything is coming back slowly. Just gotta keep on going.”
Whether or not he has thought about the play that injured him:
“Yeah I’ve done that. I’ve thought about that not as much as most people would think, but I’ve thought about it a few times. What if I would’ve went here? What if I would’ve just ran into him with my chest instead of lowering my head down? Or if I would’ve wound up with my shoulder a little bit to the right? It is what it is and it happened for a reason.”
Why he thinks this was a good thing to happen to him:
“Because of all the people impacted. I mean look I’m here today with you. If this never would’ve happened I wouldn’t be here with you. All the people it’s impacted in the world and changed their lives by telling them why complain about something little when Eric is going through this or that. It’s just making people better people.”
On his goal:
“I want to run again and I want to become a broadcaster. That’s right. That’s always been my dream to go to the NFL, retire, and become a sports broadcaster.”
What happens if you don’t ever walk again?
“There is no don’t. I will. That’s it.”
Listen to Eric LeGrand on ESPN Radio here (Audio begins 24:20)